Author: Jason Loebig
Here’s a great question - why on earth would I want to “deprive” my senses multiple times per month shut in a tank filled with salt water for 60-90 minutes?
Because it is awesome.
The experience of floating is very unique. Each tank, pod, or room is filled with roughly 1,000 lbs. of Epsom salt, allowing you to completely float on the surface of about 10 inches of water. You simply lay back and relax. Think an alternative “spa” experience.
Float Sixty has a few different options for a float experience, from a traditional Samadhi tank to float pods, rooms, and super rooms. I spent a majority of my floats in the “Super Float Room” (good for first-timers), which is much larger than a traditional Samadhi tank. I like this room the most because you can “get lost” in the space most easily – you rarely come in contact with the walls. I also really enjoy the Samadhi tank, which is the most traditional form of floating. It holds out light and sound the best.
I went to Float Sixty twice a week for the last month for several reasons, among them to aid in muscle recovery, boost creativity, shut down migraine headaches, and to help me sleep better. We are bombarded throughout our day with so many inputs – news, social media, work, etc and all from multiple electronic devices. We feel constant stressors, both on the mind and body, which sleep at night does not fully combat. Floating does the hard work for you – you just show up, float, and reap the benefits.
Speaking of which, there are many benefits to floating.
“Fight or Flight” no more, just float. This may take a few minutes while in the tank, so be patient. Just like any attempt to relax, it is aided by mindful breathing and detachment from the outcome of “relaxing.” In my experience, it takes about 30 minutes to fully integrate yourself to the environment, though you will start to relax much before then.
Muscle Recovery & Pain Management
I felt so many benefits under this umbrella. I used floating as recovery from an increase in running this month (my “November Goal”). The combination of magnesium absorption from over 1,000 lbs. of Epsom salt with the fact that you are “floating” in a near anti-gravity environment (no stress on your joints, muscles or tissue) makes for a great sports recovery option.
I also used floating sessions to recover from headaches, which I suffer from time to time (migraines, specifically). If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know what light and sound do to you – this is the ideal environment to shut off those sensory inputs. Headaches can also be helped by a rush of endorphins, which are released in the tank.
If you’ve ever wanted to try meditation, but don’t feel like you have the patience or capability, this is your solution. The tank does the work of meditating for you in that you are no longer required to try and actively shut down external stimuli – it’s already quiet, dark, and peaceful. All you have to do is float, and think!
One of my favorite side-effects of floating on a regular basis is better sleep. I suffer from an abbreviated sleep schedule, like many of us. Floating helps to hack the dip in daily energy you may feel by allowing your mind and body to physically rest while in the tank, but allows thoughts and creativity to flow freely. It will help induce better sleep at night with carryover relaxation benefits felt long after leaving the tank.
We tend to be dominant “left side” brain users (your analytical side), in part likely due to how much information we consume (without time to process), however, floating promotes increased “right side” brain use (creative side). I recommend journaling both before and after your float session. Document how you feel and any ideas you want to put to paper. After floating, take some time in the Meditation Room to journal again, or take a stab at “adult coloring”, using a Buddha Board, or even the new virtual reality set-up. The 3-D paint room is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
Tips for a great experience:
- Make sure your face is dry before you get in the tank – don’t let water drip into your eyes as you will not be able to wipe them off with saltwater on your hands
- Put your ear plugs in before you get into the shower
- If you really enjoy listening to music when you relax, this can be a great way to experience a float session. I prefer music with repetitive beats or those without words. My single favorite is “Time” by Hans Zimmer. Inception is a great way to describe this experience.
- Be super visual while in the tank. It feels peaceful, like being under water while looking at the stars. I like to think about vacations or adventures I've taken while floating.
- Allow time to hang out afterwards, drink tea, and spend time just thinking
- If you are ready to get out of the tank, get out early! You don’t have to spend the full hour or 90 minutes to receive full benefits. Similar to coming out of REM sleep at the top or bottom of a cycle, you can come out of the tank feeling super energized or super relaxed. Both are great options, depending on what you want to get out of floating. If it’s your first time, float the entire 60 minutes and don’t concern yourself with making that judgment call.
- If you consider yourself claustrophobic, opt for a larger room. I never feel constrained in any of the tanks, but if you need some encouragement before trying the Samadhi tank, try the Super Float Room. You feel that way because your senses trick you into thinking you're trapped. Inside the tank, you feel like you're in outer space. Which is, of course, awesome.
Float on. Live Better.